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published: 16/6/2009
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UK & France sign MOU to develop common single rating tool for environmental assessment certification

BRE Global, CSTB and CERTIVEA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a Pan-European building environmental assessment method

BRE Global in the UK and CSTB in France have both long been instrumental in setting best environmental practice standards in the construction sector through their respective assessment methods, BREEAM and HQE.

With the recent launch of the SB Alliance, the relationship between BRE Global and CSTB has increased in scope and strength and it is felt that further increased cooperation between both signatories could lead to the establishment of a system for assessing the environmental performance of buildings that is both nationally-effective and recognized on the global scale; and that is increasingly adopted in Europe and worldwide.

Therefore, BRE Global, CSTB and CERTIVEA have signed a MoU to initiate joint programme with the overall objective of aligning the certification schemes delivered by the two institutes in the countries in which they operate. This will ultimately allow the development and promotion, at the European level, of a common assessment method and a common brand run by a European council.

During the development period of this European scheme, signatories will offer their respective markets a one stop service. Therefore CERTIVEA, CSTB's subsidiary and certification organisation, will deliver BREEAM as an optional complement to the existing NF démarche HQE®.

These developments will be in line with the work on common metrics which is being undertaken by BRE Global, CSTB and other major organizations such as DGnB, VTT, NIST, ITC-CNR and FCAV within the SB Alliance, as well as the common carbon measurement to be established between BREEAM, LEED, and Green-Star currently being led by BRE Global.

Paul Gibbon - Director of Sustainability (BRE Global) said : "this is a huge step forward in aligning two of the major rating tools in Europe and an important step towards a single European rating tool"

Bertrand DELCAMBRE - Président of CSTB said : "This initiative, much anticipated by the market, will bring a coherent to national policies such as the Grenelle de l'Environnement in France or the UK's carbon targets, and hence clarity in what has become an international marketplace."


Press enquiries : SIMON GUY, +44(0)1923 664305, guys@bre.co.uk


BRE Global Ltd (UK)

BRE Global Limited (owned by the BRE Trust - a research and education charity) is an independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire, security and sustainability products and services to an international market. BRE Global Ltd's main product in the area of sustainability is the BREEAM family of schemes. (http://www.breglobal.com/ / http://www.breeam.org/)

CSTB (France)

The ultimate aim of CSTB is to improve comfort and safety in buildings and the built environment, to which end it acts professionally in three complementary areas: research and innovative engineering, quality evaluation and dissemination of know-how. These are linked to its areas of expertise, and give it a global approach to building, encompassing the urban environment, services and the new information and communication technologies. CSTB is a State-owned industrial and commercial corporative, placed under the administrative supervision of the French Ministry of Housing. It is one of Europe's leading research and evaluation centres. (http://www.cstb.fr/ )


Founded in 2006 by the French Building Research Center (CSTB), Certivéa, a subsidiary of CSTB runs the HQE scheme for tertiary buildings. In a way that is both independent and neutral, Certivéa delvers several certifications, among them: NF Bâtiments Tertiaires Démarche HQE®, the label Haute Performance Energétique for tertiary buildings, MPRO Architecte, Qualiprom, Qualimo, Qualirésidences, NF Etudes Thermiques®, and  CSTB Compétences® . For more information:  http://www.certivea.fr/

DGnB (Germany)

German Sustainable Building council (http://www.dgnb.de/)

VTT (Finland)

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest multitechnological applied research organisation in Northern Europe. It provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. VTT is a non-profit-making research organisation. (http://www.vtt.fi/)


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a federal technology agency that develops and promotes measurement, standards, and technology. It depends of the United States Department of Commerce. The institute's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life. (http://www.nist.gov/)

ITC CNR (Italy)

The Institute carries out its activities in the construction sector focussing on applied research, certification and training. Its mission is aimed at the improvement of the built-up environment, the performance of permanent research to find new construction methods and technologies, the management of refrigeration aspects, homes comfort, sustainable building, the assessment of performance and quality of construction products and systems. (http://www.itc.cnr.it/)

FCAV (Brazil)

The Foundation Carlos Alberto Vanzolini (FCAV), is a non-profit technical assessment organization of the Department of Engineering & Production of the Polytechnical School of the University of São Paulo. It's primary goal is to foster innovation in the area of construction and civil Engineering. The FCAV is running an adapted version of the French HQE®: AQUA. (http://www.casaaqua.com.br/)

SB Alliance (International)

SB Alliance is an international association whose aims are:

  • - Establishment of a common core of issues and metrics, and rules for their use (SB Core) that should be covered by any SB Alliance compatible building assessment system.
  • - Co-ordination and sharing of R&D efforts
  • - Worldwide promotion of the importance of any building assessment system being based on that core but tailored to the local context

(http://www.sballiance.org/ )

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